“…by defining modernity, progress, trade, consumption, and even pleasure as Western assaults on Islam, al-Qaeda left little on the table for themselves.” –Lawrence Wright, from The Looming Tower (al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11)
In their book Kingmakers, Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac refer to a certain William Gifford Palgrave and his warning, back in 1865, that the Wahhabis were “incapable of true internal progress, hostile to commerce, unfavourable to the arts, and even agriculture, and to the highest degree intolerant and aggressive” and represented “a new wellhead to the bitter wars of Islam.” Meyer and Blair Brysac conclude from Palgrave’s remarks that he felt that these same Wahhabis “might seriously threaten the non-Islamic world.” These are the same Wahhabis whom sophists and apologists today blame for the total miscarriage of Islam’s entry into the Western world and its failure to produce any valid example of consistent good. Show me one example of the religion of Islam anywhere in the Western world where there is not also its attendant religious umbrage and its subsequent physical violence. Show me also with such an example where this same religious umbrage and physical violence, in any measure of public acknowledgement by Islam’s many apologists, both foreign and domestic, has ever been depicted as connected directly to the religion of Islam.
Compare the incredible claim—that Wahhabis, a sect founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792), are responsible for derailing and/or interrupting what these sophists and apologists believe should have been Islam’s progression into modernity—with the history of the Abbasid dynasty, which began long before, in 749, and ended in 1258 with the execution of Musta’sim by the Mongols. During its existence, the Abbasid rulers were victims of 13 violent takeovers (as listed in Efraim Karsh’s Islamic Imperialism): five of them “killed by his own soldiers,” one “assassinated,” one “killed by his generals,” one “executed,” three “deposed and blinded,” one “deposed and imprisoned,” one “killed by political rivals.” Compare also their incredible claim with the history of the Ottoman dynasty, whose rulers suffered 15 fervid contestations for leadership positions (as listed in Efraim Karsh’s Islamic Imperialism): one “assassinated,” one “died in captivity,” one “killed contending brothers in internecine strife,” eight “deposed,” one “restored and subsequently deposed,” one “deposed and murdered,” one “murdered by rebellious troops,” one “caliph only, deposed.” Clearly, the religion of Islam was a purveyor of internecine strife and politically charged bloodletting long before the emergence of Abd al-Wahhab. And if ever there was a “golden age” within the Middle Eastern context of Islam, however fugacious, it was in spite of this religion and not because of it. “Even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day.”
Lawrence Wright opines, “One can ask, at this point, whether 9/11 or some similar tragedy might have happened without bin Laden to steer it. The answer is certainly not.” This is the wrong question. Wright is simply dramatizing for effect, for the sake of his book, to aggrandize bin Laden’s infamy. The question that should be asked is whether another bin Laden type would have made his way to the front of this pack of religious savages and volunteered his leadership for the purpose of committing a “similar tragedy.” The answer resounds in the affirmative. Whether offended by Western imperial conquests, real or imagined, or simply out of hatred of all things and/or peoples calumniated by the Quran, there will always be a radical Muslim somewhere in the world willing to inspire others in the homicidal arts of modern jihad. The mistake Western leaders are making today is to pretend, as Western journalists and multiculturalists have coerced them to pretend, that the radical Muslim is not part and parcel of the common Muslim community and that the radicalization of good Muslims is not a consequence of Islam proper.
Milton Viorst wrote in the Los Angeles Times in 2003: “It is not so much that Muslims are more pious than Westerners. It is that the imperatives of the culture impose limits on the diversity of outlook, whether religious or social. These imperatives suppress the demand for personal identity, leaving believers with little tolerance for the free and open debate necessarily at democracy’s core.” It is not unreasonable, therefore, to suggest that the adherents of Islam, even the most moderate, will continually fail to fully and willingly assimilate democratic norms and customs. These cultural stumbling stones—these Quranic imperatives—are easily perceptible for those in possession of even a superficial knowledge regarding those groups who today advocate on behalf of Islam’s sharia law as they attempt to consolidate the myth that Islam the religion is not something the common patriots of Western democracies should worry ourselves about. These same advocacy groups portray our defense of Christian traditions and Jewish Zionism as “assaults on Islam,” as though Islam—a religion rife with sectarian violence, with a reputation daily disintegrating (if not already there) into notoriety—has moral high ground enough to justify their excoriations of Western societies and their liberal customs.
“No one regards what is before his feet; we all gaze at the stars,” wrote Quintus Ennius. How many times now in recent history have Western politicians and journalists stubbed their toes while dreamily defending Islam as a salubrious faith in spite of the horrors its fundamentalists have unleashed upon humanity, and all their stargazing merely to garner votes and win approval ratings? Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac warn against this “utilitarian view of faith,” pointing out that, “…worldly politicians nowadays tend to treat the other-worldly as useful and pliable partners. Yet over and over again, this attitude has backfired, sometimes fatally.” Meyer and Blair Brysac were talking about America arming bin Laden’s mujahedeen and the Soviet debacle in Afghanistan, but we would do well to consider this prudent counsel as regards the “other-worldly” who presently live amongst us: How many of our civil liberties should we emasculate to please and placate our Muslim citizens, the same citizens whose Quranic tenets demand the sequestration of religious observances and traditions common to Jews and Christians and Hindus but somehow, even though historically embedded in Western democracies, intolerable for Muslims?
Irene Nemirovsky (who died in Auschwitz) got it right, and her wisdom remains a clarion call for ourselves and our posterity: “They’re trying to make us believe we live in the age of the ‘community,’ when the individual must perish so that society may live, and we don’t want to see that it is society that is dying so the tyrants can live.” The virtue of prudence is now portrayed as vice, and we are being forced, by foot and by fathom, against our better judgment, to accept the sort of inverted morality synonymous to crumbled empires past. The destruction of Western democracies, particularly United States and Canada, should it not be averted, should we continue to cater to the demands of psychopathically ambitious politicians, will be like the right-cross that immediately follows the left jab: you don’t see it coming and you don’t know you’ve lost the fight until you’ve regained your senses enough to hear the referee tell you so. Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, just stated publicly (as reported in the Huffington Post) that he “…believes that terrorists should get to keep their Canadian citizenship.” Just when I thought President Obama and his “Iran deal” was the epitome of human incompetence, along comes a fellow Canadian to prove me wrong. How low do we sink into this mire of multiculturalist unconsciousness before we wake to find we have lost everything—all those freedoms and security Western democracies formerly boasted of? We are leaving nothing on the table for ourselves while simultaneously piling the future of our children onto the tables of our enemies.